We all have beliefs or ‘things we hold to be true’. Some of these work for us. Some get in our way. Big time. Today, I would love to share with you one of the beliefs that I have worked on- one that occasionally rears its little head, but that a few years ago I made a non-issue in my life.
My core limiting belief, one that I have worked on and continue to work on is the belief that ‘It is not safe to be successful’. Even as I say that I feel that I am talking about an old belief, but when I come up against ‘blocks’ I can usually trace it to that little voice that wants to look after me. ‘Are you sure that it is safe to be successful and happy?’
I can quickly access a whole montage of moments in my life that may have influenced this perception. While many women of my generation grew up thinking Oprah was awesome, I was told that she was annoying. Same with a bunch of celebrities, some of whom are extremely hardworking and talented actresses and singers. I remember getting bullied as a child, which I attributed to others being ‘jealous’, or so I was told. Before I joined the National Squad, I heard that it was cesspit of corruption, aggression and general nastiness. Growing up, I never heard someone say something nice about an Australian Prime Minister. I even heard teachers, only jokingly, talk disparagingly about ‘nerds’ or kids who thrive in extra-curricula activities.
Even on a mass cultural level, I can’t help but think of Australia, which as you may know, promulgates a culture of ‘tall poppy syndrome’. This is basically when we are conditioned to want to cut down people who stand out, especially those who may be perceived as successful. We can see this syndrome displayed when we bag out our boss or look for character flaws in leaders, or when we see attractive or really competent people targeted in work and even school environments. I feel that this is beginning to shift as people seek out role models and also connect more to our humanity. Or that could just be projecting my own world view onto what is actually happening.
And now I am forced to confront my own thoughts and actions that reinforce to be that it is not safe to be successful. I hate to admit this, but I am so guilty of embodying this belief and when I catch myself out, I give myself a serious talking to. I know I am not aligning with the belief ‘It is safe to be successful’ when I am:
1. Surprised when someone I look up to is a ‘nice person’. The implication is that I assume they will not be nice or approachable. Therefore, how can I comfortably be a role model if I think people will think I am a bitch?
2. Commenting on something I don’t like about a person who is otherwise admirable. Sometimes I find myself speaking as though I hold community leaders to a higher standard, which is unfair. How can it be safe to be a community leader if I feel like I will be under scrutiny?
3. Bummed out, even momentarily, when someone has something I want. Because I would never want to hurt someone, it would be soul-destroying for me to think my success would make someone else feel bad.
Can you see how thinking negative thoughts about someone who is ‘successful’ gets me totally out of alignment with having my definition of success? Because part of me does not really want it. That part of me wants to be safe. It will stop, sabotage or at least make the journey towards my goals more arduous.
Thankfully, since studying NLP and other strands of personal development, I have a whole toolbox I can draw upon to clear this belief. Like I said, it doesn’t feel real for me in the same way anymore.
It is liberating to at least identify some limiting beliefs and where they have come from. And in our rational mind, using logic, we can quickly view our past experiences in a different light. We can collect evidence that tells us something to the contrary, like for me, ‘It is safe to be successful’.
Knowing where these beliefs come from, and bravely acknowledging that we are perpetuating these through our thoughts and actions, will DISEMPOWER our limiting beliefs. It is the first, but potent phase, of a process of ditching what is holding us back and moving towards a new truth that supports our vision of ourselves.
If you would like to know how to apply my favourite strategies for releasing limiting beliefs you can join me at the live workshop I am running in NSW this April. You can click here to see all details. And if you would still like the tools and materials from the day, you can subscribe below this post to receive resources on how to abolish limiting beliefs so that you can live a life you absolutely adore.
So, in the spirit of sharing to empower others and foster greater connection, let’s share. What limiting beliefs can you now identify? Where did they come from? Are they still valid? And if you have gone through the process of clearing limiting beliefs, which ones do you have to revisit and clear most often?
Looking forward to reading a little bit about YOU!
Lots of love,